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The First Female Pharaoh

Sobekneferu, Goddess of the Seven Stars

Read by Micah Hanks
Published by Simon & Schuster/Inner Traditions
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

• Reveals the achievements of Sobekneferu, the political and religious issues of her age, the temples and ruins associated with her, and her continuing impact on ancient Egypt after her reign

• Discusses Sobekneferu’s magical beliefs and practices centered on the crocodile god Sobek, the hippo goddess Neith, and their representation as constellations

• Examines the modern-day resurrection of Sobekneferu among mystics and occultists of Victorian London, including her role in Bram Stoker’s shocking gothic novel, The Jewel of the Seven Stars

Cleopatra. Nefertiti. Hatshepsut. All of them are ancient Egyptian female rulers who rose above their predominantly patriarchal societies to become controllers of a great empire. Missing from this list, however, is Sobekneferu, ancient Egypt’s first female ruler. Why was the reign of this powerful woman all but forgotten?

Piecing together the lost history of the first female pharaoh, Andrew Collins presents the first comprehensive biography of Sobekneferu. Using every text and monument that concerns Sobekneferu and her time in power, he examines her achievements as ruler, the political and religious issues of her age, the temples and ruins associated with her, and her continuing impact on ancient Egypt after her reign. He explores her relationship with her brother Amenemhat IV, her sister Neferuptah, and their father Amenemhat III, regarded as one of the most beloved pharaohs of the Middle Kingdom. He examines Sobekneferu’s untimely end, the fate of her body, and the cult that developed in her name.

Discussing Sobekneferu’s magical beliefs and practices, Collins shows how they centered on the crocodile god Sobek, the hippopotamus goddess Neith, and Sekhmet, the goddess presiding over divine power. He reveals also how Sobekneferu’s suspected pyramid was positioned to align with the setting of Eltanin, the brightest star in the constellation of Draco, seen in ancient Egypt as the celestial form of Sobek. Examining the modern-day resurrection of Sobekneferu among the occultists and mystics of Victorian London, Collins shows how she is the true inspiration behind every ancient Egyptian female queen who comes back to life after her tomb is found—as featured first in Bram Stoker’s shocking 1903 novel The Jewel of Seven Stars and later in several modern blockbuster movies.
Revealing how Sobekneferu has left a lasting impact on culture and occulture through the ages despite being nearly erased from history, Collins shows how her continuing legacy is perhaps, ultimately, her true resurrection.

About The Author

Andrew Collins is a science and history writer who investigates advanced civilizations in prehistory. He is the co-discoverer of a massive cave complex beneath the Giza plateau, now known as “Collins’ Cave.” The author of several books, including Origins of the Gods and Göbekli Tepe: Genesis of the Gods, he regularly appears on radio shows, podcasts, and TV series, including Ancient Aliens, The UnXplained with William Shatner, and Lost Worlds. He lives in Essex, England.

About The Reader

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Inner Traditions (May 9, 2023)
  • Runtime: 10 hours and 45 minutes
  • ISBN13: 9781797162928

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Raves and Reviews

“Founded on robust academic rigor, in The First Female Pharaoh Andrew Collins has woven an impeccable tapestry that reveals the importance of women in leadership in millennia past, today, and in the future.”

– Christopher Dunn, author of The Giza Power Plant and Lost Technologies of Ancient Egypt

“With his customary flair for unearthing the secrets of the ancient world, Andrew Collins’s study of the little-known female Egyptian pharaoh Sobekneferu is destined to become a classic. Her life and place in Egyptian history is presented engagingly and forensically, while the author’s own passion for the subject is clear on every page. This is an important book.”

– Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince, authors of When God Had a Wife: The Fall and Rise of the Sacred Femi

“This new book by Andrew Collins, who I’ve known for more than forty years, deals with the story of the first female ruler in history. Sobekneferu was the last ruler of the Twelfth Dynasty in Egyptian history. More than two centuries later Hatshepsut became the second Egyptian queen. As always, Andrew Collins uses his historical knowledge, along with his deep imagination, to bring the story of Sobekneferu to life.”

– Ahmed Osman, author of The Egyptian Origins of King David and the Temple of Solomon and The Lost Cit

“Finally, a long-overdue opus honoring one of history’s most enigmatic women—Sobekneferu. Andrew Collins has scoured historical records, archaeological discoveries, and scattered images of this mysterious yet powerful female ruler of Upper and Lower Egypt to piece together this first major overview of her Twelfth Dynasty reign as a queen and pharaoh.”

– Ani Williams, harpist, singer, songwriter, author, sound therapist, and pilgrimage guide

"This is the first ever biography that has been written about this historical Egyptian figure. Collins meticulously pieces together the nearly lost history of Sobekneferu. He describes how under her ruler-ship Egypt survived a very dark period in its history known as the Second Intermediate Period and how it managed to become one of the most powerful and influential empires of the ancient world."

– Brent Raynes, Alternate Perceptions Magazine

"Absolutely fascinating, impressively informative, expertly written, nicely illustrated, and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, The First Female Pharaoh: Sobekneferu, Goddess of the Seven Stars by Andrew Collins will prove to be a prized and endearingly appreciated addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Egyptology collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the cult, magic, reign, and resurrection of the first female ruler in Egypt that The First Female Pharaoh is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.99)."

– Midwest Book Review

In The First Female Pharaoh: Sobekneferu, Goddess of the Seven Stars, author Andrew Collins (Göbekli Tepe: Genesis of the Gods, 2014) does rigorous archaeological detective work, analyzing a variety of statues and beads honoring Sobekneferu, in an effort to humanize her and unravel the mystery of her life and death. This book also has a historical whodunit vibe, as Collins explores possible political intrigues that may have led to her rise and fall. It’s amazing how much information can be gleaned about her from so few inscriptions and artifacts, and Collins walks the reader through each exhibit, clarifying its context.

– Rachel McConnell, Musing Mystical

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